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Winter Riding - Pro Tips

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What temperature do you find you start to run into problems?  I think my commute is twice as long as yours (12km).

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It would be interesting to test if @The Fat Unicyclist’s Body Guard has any thermal insulating value that might diminish the drain on EUC’s batteries in cold weather. 
 

In the future I can see @The Fat Unicyclist’s neoprene Body Guard incorporating low voltage heat tape with a battery compartment for those die hard winter riders.
 

Hey Kevin...do I get a percentage of the profits if this idea comes to fruition? ;)

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On 11/5/2019 at 2:54 PM, Xoltri said:

What temperature do you find you start to run into problems?  I think my commute is twice as long as yours (12km).

I did a long (10km run) home from work one cold (around -12c I think) day just to check the temp and found that the wheel was cooling down by the time I got home. It seems like different wheels run warmer than others, the ACM was a champ and seemed to keep a stable temperature down to -20c or so. So I guess that would be a another tip: use cold days as an opportunity to monitor the temperature of the wheel over a longer ride to see how it behaves. At a certain temperature + distance one would have to take measures such as adding a cover or something.

My little 6.5km commute is over so quickly (it's a great reason to get comfortable with getting some speed going in winter) that I don't really need to  do anything.

Very careful not to leave it outside though, for example to run in and grab a cup of coffee on the way to work I bring the wheel in with me.

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On 11/5/2019 at 4:51 PM, Rehab1 said:

It would be interesting to test if @The Fat Unicyclist’s Body Guard has any thermal insulating value that might diminish the drain on EUC’s batteries in cold weather. 
 

In the future I can see @The Fat Unicyclist’s neoprene Body Guard incorporating low voltage heat tape with a battery compartment for those die hard winter riders.
 

Hey Kevin...do I get a percentage of the profits if this idea comes to fruition? ;)

We've actually spent a little time thinking about how something like that might work. For winter commuting though it probably doesn't need much more than a bit of insulation, that XL cover by itself might actually be enough without adding anything more. 

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And since I'm here, my second tip is:

Do not avoid slippery stuff! I've mentioned this before, but if you see little patches of ice or anything that looks a bit slippery, take it on instead of going around it. That way you get used to riding the wheel under adverse conditions when you are in charge. You'll face it sooner or later anyway if you do winter riding, might as well get the practice in when you choose, instead of when mother nature does.

Case in point, the last couple of days the side streets have been quite slippery. Rather than find drier streets or just ride straight and pray :efee78d764:, I do gentle slaloms from one side of the street to the other to re-establish that I am still in control the ride.

Edited by winterwheel

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i was just about to say where the hell are you that it gets so cold it could be a problem for your wheel, then i saw edmonton lol... i have a lot of family there, i dont envy you.. in victoria it barely ever goes below 0 in the winter i dont ever worry about the wheels at all, but for me i have a heated jacket i got from amazon, two pairs of winter socks, two coats and the heated one, long johns and two pairs of pants, gloves, a scarf and a toque.. yes im a wuss

Edited by Rywokast

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30 minutes ago, Rywokast said:

i was just about to say where the hell are you that it gets so cold it could be a problem for your wheel, then i saw edmonton lol... i have a lot of family there, i dont envy you.. in victoria it barely ever goes below 0 in the winter i dont ever worry about the wheels at all, but for me i have a heated jacket i got from amazon, two pairs of winter socks, two coats and the heated one, long johns and two pairs of pants, gloves, a scarf and a toque.. yes im a wuss

OMG... I normally ride wearing a t-shirt... With the addition of gloves in mid winter (and maybe a jersey on 3-4 really cold days). 

Perhaps we should start making EUC Rider-guards!?!

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59 minutes ago, The Fat Unicyclist said:

OMG... I normally ride wearing a t-shirt... With the addition of gloves in mid winter (and maybe a jersey on 3-4 really cold days). 

Perhaps we should start making EUC Rider-guards!?!

i hate you :P i wish i lived somewhere that was warm year round, cold suckkkks.. yes please, make it a wind shield that extends up six feet because ive had my nose nearly fall off a few times from frostbite haha

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First winter wipeout today - beginning and end of winter really are the most treacherous times; and bridges over rivers are the most treacherous places. 

Normally I'm pretty careful but there's an outdoor coffee meetup place just past the end of the bridge, so I was looking to see if anyone had showed up. Also it's +4c today, so I wasn't expecting much more than a few slippery patches.

But what happened I guess is that the underlying surface at the end of the bridge run was cold enough to freeze into a 100-foot patch of pristine ice under a layer of thin layer of water.

I would have been okay if a) had been paying attention, or b) had only had to ride straight, but this stretch is where you have to veer to the left to get off the bridge. So at speed, not paying attention, hung a summer-style left turn on the worst possible surface.

But, it was all good. I spilled the coffee of course, and got super wet from sliding on that glorified ice-puddle. But otherwise I'm looking forward to attacking that section again on my way home tonight.

This time I'll be ready for it. :ph34r:

 

 

Edited by winterwheel

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8 hours ago, Rywokast said:

i was just about to say where the hell are you that it gets so cold it could be a problem for your wheel, then i saw edmonton lol... i have a lot of family there, i dont envy you.. in victoria it barely ever goes below 0 in the winter i dont ever worry about the wheels at all, but for me i have a heated jacket i got from amazon, two pairs of winter socks, two coats and the heated one, long johns and two pairs of pants, gloves, a scarf and a toque.. yes im a wuss

All that for beautiful, balmy, we-all-want-to-retire-there Victoria?  :facepalm: That's more than what I wear here, even on the coldest  days. That heated jacket sure sounds interesting though.:)

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6 hours ago, Rywokast said:

i hate you :P i wish i lived somewhere that was warm year round, cold suckkkks.. yes please, make it a wind shield that extends up six feet because ive had my nose nearly fall off a few times from frostbite haha

The toes are the worst part; on a long fast ride in very low temperatures they get extremely cold, sometimes without even your noticing. Frostbite is a real concern on some days.

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1 hour ago, winterwheel said:

First winter wipeout today - beginning and end of winter really are the most treacherous times; and bridges over rivers are the most treacherous places. 

Yikes, well get it out of the way early!  I rode my wheel today also, although my M.O. is the polar opposite of yours, with my newly improved aggressive looking tire:

-au60IXlgkC_jLDTJ5dbnaGP5veOkKqy6kiQPS0K

I had put in normal bicycle T studs in last year, and this year I supplemented them with the screw in flat bottom style of stud found here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32953408885.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.74e54c4d6Le5g1.  These are much easier to install, just need a drill, and they seem to have more bite on the road.

As with you I found some icy patches, although the tire seemed to laugh at it.  I stopped to try and walk on it and it was extremely slippery but the wheel didn't seem to mind.  I still feel uncomfortable going over anything sketchy, I'm sure I'll gain more confidence as time passes.  Still going to be really cautious on the turns though, as I've learned my lesson on that from winter biking after a few wipeouts.

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Xoltri said:

Yikes, well get it out of the way early!  I rode my wheel today also, although my M.O. is the polar opposite of yours, with my newly improved aggressive looking tire:

-au60IXlgkC_jLDTJ5dbnaGP5veOkKqy6kiQPS0K

I had put in normal bicycle T studs in last year, and this year I supplemented them with the screw in flat bottom style of stud found here:

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32953408885.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.74e54c4d6Le5g1.  These are much easier to install, just need a drill, and they seem to have more bite on the road.

As with you I found some icy patches, although the tire seemed to laugh at it.  I stopped to try and walk on it and it was extremely slippery but the wheel didn't seem to mind.  I still feel uncomfortable going over anything sketchy, I'm sure I'll gain more confidence as time passes.  Still going to be really cautious on the turns though, as I've learned my lesson on that from winter biking after a few wipeouts.

 

 

Awesome! We need to do a winter ride together at some point with a video camera if you are up for it. I'd love to do something that compares different wheels under like conditions. 

I think I have to try the stud thing at some point not because I need them but because civilians won't want to have to work so hard to keep the wheel upright on sketchy days like today.

I don't think I'm convincing anyone to do any winter riding doing what I'm doing right now. :unsure:

 

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5 hours ago, winterwheel said:

The toes are the worst part; on a long fast ride in very low temperatures they get extremely cold, sometimes without even your noticing. Frostbite is a real concern on some days.

yea sometimes even with two pairs of winter socks my toes are completely numb after a ride...

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5 hours ago, MrRobot said:

For cold feet/toes....

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KZSP171/?coliid=I5HN51BMKTLOC&colid=2NBNF38BFSNNG&psc=0&ref_=lv_ov_lig_dp_it

One of the more expensive pairs they have but this is one of the few I saw that does heating on the bottom and the top, most are just one or the other.

wow thats more than i paid for my heated jacket O.o at least they come with the batteries though thats good... if they work anywhere near as good as the jacket i got, well worth it though... cold toes suck ass, and more importantly make your feet cramp up which sucks

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Well, with the huge dump of snow that fell here recently I took out my wheel to test it out in various conditions. Hard packed snow is perfectly fine to ride on, as expected with these studs.  The main issue is mushy snow which is very hard to ride through, as well as any ruts in the hard pack which can pull you around.  But definitely rideable, although at a lower (safer) speed than in the summer.

Also, last year when I attempted this I had a problem with my pedals icing up.  Each time you step off the wheel and then remount a bit of snow would get stuck to the pedals, which makes it very difficult to ride.  So I purchased these which seem to do a good job of getting traction:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07FZTRW75/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

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35 minutes ago, Xoltri said:

Well, with the huge dump of snow that fell here recently I took out my wheel to test it out in various conditions. Hard packed snow is perfectly fine to ride on, as expected with these studs.  The main issue is mushy snow which is very hard to ride through, as well as any ruts in the hard pack which can pull you around.  But definitely rideable, although at a lower (safer) speed than in the summer.

Also, last year when I attempted this I had a problem with my pedals icing up.  Each time you step off the wheel and then remount a bit of snow would get stuck to the pedals, which makes it very difficult to ride.  So I purchased these which seem to do a good job of getting traction:

https://www.amazon.ca/gp/product/B07FZTRW75/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o05_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

I had exactly the same issue, plus when having to dismount in super icy conditions (for a stoplight for example) I needed traction to stand up, point being I have been using something similar for the past couple of years. They are wonderful, definitely solve the problem, with the only side effect being that they grind the grit off the pedals over time. I'll post a picture of my ACM2 pedals (that have a winter of this wear and tear) later on.

I am currently testing the ACM2 with a knobby tire, and found that it chews through the mushy snow like a champ. Not convinced it will do well on ice though, a bit worried about tomorrow morning's trip in. I have a feeling its going to be a battle. I am much more comfortable on the ACM2 vs the 18XL; the xl seemed to be super unstable in the bumpy snow situation, was constantly having to catch myself from going down for what seemed like the most minor of bumps.

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The ride in on the ACM2 this morning was awesome, no issues at all. With the off-road tire on it feels much more stable than it did last year and having the ability to plow through small snow-drifts and berms makes it spectacular fun. Plus being a heavy, wide wheel with a low centre of gravity makes it ideal for winter I think.

The XL is put away  for the winter, sometime in the future when I have one to spare I'll put a winter tire on it and see how it does. 

 

 

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